Here is the Reds Hot Stove League show report for 11-10-09. For the uninitiated, what I do is post a recap of the show every week. It is not a transcript and Iím not going to report every time some caller says he saw Marty at Kroger back in 1992. This is about the Reds, not Martyís golf game or Thomís man love for Tim Tebow. Iím also going to be somewhat of a wise guy about what people say on the show. My comments will be in parenthesis.
On with the show. Thom Brennaman was the host tonight. He began the show by talking on the phone with Walt whoís in Chicago for the G.M.ís meetings. Thom asked Walt what is the goal of the G.M.ís meetings. Walt said itís mainly to discuss the game itself. They talk about rule changes. Thereís a scouting committee that talks about changes to the draft. Thereís a player development committee, a rules and administration committee and a health and safety committee that talks about the new helmets and the bats. He also said they talk about trades. Thom asked Walt where he finds the patience to not make a bunch of deals at the meetings. Walt said that you have to be patient and persistent. He said another club may tell you no on a deal several times but maybe the next time you work something out. Walt said that they really like their young players and they have a plan that will keep pushing and promoting the young players. He mentioned the AFL players are doing very well and there will be some guys ready next year and some that will be ready in a year or two. Walt said that you have to be patient with the young players but some can contribute right away like Stubbs and Francisco. Waltís looking to build a team thatís young and aggressive and if they can get off to a good start next year they will have a lot of fun. (Just like last year? ) Thom mentioned that Volquez will be out for most of next season but Homer made big steps and he was a big shot in the arm for the Reds. Walt said a lot of people werenít patient with Homer and wrote him off (myself included). He said that people forgot he was only 22. Walt said heís going to be a top of the rotation pitcher for the Reds for a long time. He said Homer wants the ball and is a great competitor. Walt also mentioned Travis Wood as an up and coming pitcher. He feels even without Volquez, the Reds will compete next year. Thom asked Walt about catcher and SS. Walt thought they will work something out with Hernandez hopefully within the next week before his option has to be picked up. He said heíd be a good match with Hanigan and they also have Tatum, Corky and Castillo for depth. Walt said they like Janishís glove at SS and if they can improve offensively, they will do it. He said Janish did have 21 doubles though. He thinks they need offense at catcher or SS and if Hernandez comes back, that will make upgrading SS less of a priority. Thom asked Walt if he thinks if there is a sense from the other GMís that the financial situation will be reconfigured. Walt said the CBA will be renegotiated in a couple of years and thinks that the smaller market clubs need more of a chance to compete whether it is tweaking the draft or more revenue sharing. He said that is why heís been focused on building up the farm system.
After commercial, the first caller asked Thom if Jr. will play in 2010. Thom said he hasnít heard anything from him either way and heís a free agent. The caller said he should probably stay in the A.L. and be a DH. (You think?) Thom agreed and said he didnĎt think he was too bad in the OF his last year with the Reds. The caller thought that since Jr. is looking for that ring, he might try to sign with the Angels or Red Sox. Thom said the Angels have a lot of money tied up paying 4-5 OFers.
The next caller asked if Gomes and Nix will be back next year. Thom said they will both be arbitration eligible and if he were the Reds, he wouldnít go to arbitration with him and risk losing. He said Gomes is another matter. He said he was among the top offensive players on the Reds last year but also said even though his stats for a full year projects to be 57 HRs and drive in 140 runs he doesnít feel that will actually play out over an entire season. Thom said he doesnít buy into that and he isnít sure if the Reds will go to arbitration with him or not. He knows they will go to arbitration with Burton and Massett but heís not sure about Gomes. The caller asked about Harang and said he didnít have a good win-loss record for the 3rd year in a row. Thom said he was hurt two years ago and he didnít pitch well this year. He added that heís really pitched for some bad teams too. Thom said no one will work harder to get back to full strength than him and heís under contract,
The next caller asked if the Reds will be a player in the free agent market. Thom said you never know but he doesnít think so. He thinks they could get some guys who are cheap. The caller said Alex Gonzalez is available (Uh, yeah. Letís not go down that road again.) Thom said next year could just be a stopgap year at SS and Cozart could be the SS in 2011.
After commercial, the next caller asked Thom who the player to be named later was in the Weathers trade. Thom said he didnít know. (It was cash, by the way). The caller asked Thom about the new pitching coach, Bryan Price. Thom said he was in Arizona during Priceís first year there. Thom said heís young and highly thought of. Thom said that Price was in SEA with Bob Melvin and then when Melvin went back to Arizona, he brought Price with him. Thom said he likes Price very much and his work speaks for itself. He can work equally well with veteran and young pitchers and heís very good with the latter. Thom thinks heíll do a great job. Thom also thinks people were too tough on Dick Pole last year. (I almost used another word there but I resisted the temptation. Thom didnít ) He said the Reds went from 13th in the league in pitching to 7th so he had to be doing something right. Heís not saying they were wrong to fire him but ďbefore people start climbing on Dick PoleĒ remember that he did a decent job last year with the young pitchers.
The next caller asked about George Grande and if Thom had any interest in that job. Thom said that is a Fox Sports Ohio decision and while the Reds have input, FSO makes the final decision. He said that FSO received 60 applications for the job less than 48 hours after George quit. The caller said he thinks it would be great if Thom got the full time TV gig and Jim Kelch and Dan Hoard would take his place on the radio. Thom said it might work out that way but they will have to wait and see and both Kelch and Hoard are deserving of major league jobs.
The next caller said heís been following the Reds for 50 years and heís concerned about the lack of offense especially at SS and catcher. Thom agreed but said that he believes that the Reds have some young players coming up in the next few years and they will fill that offensive hole. Thom said he could be wrong but he doesnít think so. The caller said he hopes so but heís seen a lot of players come up with the ďcanít missĒ label and they have missed. Thom agrees but he doesnít think this is the case. The caller was skeptical (He has a good right to be).
After commercial, the next caller asked about our division rivals. Thom is skeptical about the Cubs. He didnít think they were very good and he doesnít think they will be a lot better. He also wonders if the Cardinals can keep getting career years out of their pitchers. He thinks Carpenter and Wainwright will be around for a while but can you count on guys like Lohse and Pinero who he thinks will be a free agent. (Not to worry, in Duncan they trust.) Thom said itís not like playing in the A.L. East and thinks the Reds will compete next year.
After commercial, the next caller asked if the Reds may go after Jermaine Dye again. Thom said he hasnít heard anything around here about that. The caller said heís a free agent and you wonít have to give up any talent for him.
Thus endeth the Reds Hot Stove League show report for 11-10-09. So let it be written. So let it be done.